McKinley Bridge

Pennsylvania Through Truss Bridge over Mississippi River
St. Louis, Missouri
Venice, Madison County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name McKinley Bridge
Built By Illinois Terminal Railroad
Contractor (Superstructure) Pennsylvania Steel Company of Steelton, Pennsylvania
Contractor (Substructure) Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company of Leavenworth, Kansas
Engineer Ralph Modjeski
Currently Owned By Illinois Department of Transportation
Length 5,733 Feet Total; 1,750 Foot Main Crossing, 517 Foot Largest Spans
Width 2 Tracks, 3 Car Lanes
Height Above Ground 90 Feet
Superstructure Type Pennsylvania Through Truss
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1910, Approaches Rebuilt 2005-2007
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Closed to Railroad Traffic)
Current Status In Use for Automobile and Pedestrian Traffic
Significance High Significance
Documentation Date June 2016
In 1910, the Illinois Terminal Railroad began construction of a railroad line from Granite City, Illinois to downtown St. Louis, Missouri.

This line would cross the Mississippi River on a large bridge, and head into Saint Louis on a trestle before crossing into a tunnel.

The line would be completed in November of 1910, with the new bridge across the Mississippi River Bridge being dedicated as the McKinley Bridge.

The Illinois Terminal Railroad would end service across the bridge in 1977. The bridge was sold to the City of Venice in 1958. The railroad tracks were finally removed in 1994.

The rest of the ITR folded in 1981, and became part of the Norfolk Western System.

One of the least used bridges across the Mississippi River at St. Louis is this massive through truss structure, which crosses the Mississippi River between Salisbury Street in St. Louis and IL-3 in Venice.

The bridge contains three massive 18-Panel Pin Connected Pennsylvania Through Trusses. These large trusses rest on stone piers.
When originally constructed, the bridge also had a network of long trestle viaduct approaches for the railroad, as well as deck truss spans for the road it served.

After the bridge was sold to the City of Venice, the city began to collect a large amount of back taxes on the bridge. This lawsuit was first brought to the city in 1992.
By 1994, the tracks would be removed from the bridge. In 2001, the bridge would be closed to all traffic, and the bridge would be put on auction.

In late 2004, a settlement was reached with the State of Illinois to do a site cleanup around the bridge, rebuild the bridge and turn ownership over to the state.

Halverson Construction began reconstruction in 2005, and the bridge opened again in 2007. After much delay, the bridge would see new concrete beam approaches installed for the road way, and all tolls removed.

While the bridge has reopened and contains a significant amount of its original historic integrity, a lengthy approach trestle on the Illinois side, as well as the original Pratt Deck Trusses were removed from the bridge in 2005.

Today, a single approach trestle remains from the ITR. A trestle, known as the Branch Street Trestle still approaches the bridge on the Missouri side and contains a trail.

The author has ranked the bridge as highly significant due to the high level of historic integrity and the large scale crossing of the Mississippi River, but also because of the diminished historical integrity.

The photo above is an overview from the approach trestle on the St. Louis side. The photo below is a detail photo of a mid level connection.

Mississippi River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Merchants Bridge
Downstream Eads Bridge

These Pictures Start at varying points in the Series

Detail Photos from June 2016


Source Type


Build Date Plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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